Fraud helpline staff acting on behalf of police are trained to mislead victims into believing their cases are under investigation, and will be solved, The Times has claimed.
The Times undercover investigation into Action Fraud, which is overseen by the City of London Police, found that staff at the call center, outsourced by the US firm Concentrix, were taught not to tell the fraud victims that the majority of cases are dismissed either by employees or a computer algorithm.
In reality, as few as one in 50 fraud reports lead to a suspect being caught.
Managers are caught on camera mocking victims, referring to them as “morons”, “screwballs” and “psychos”.
Home secretary Priti Patel told The Times that she is “very concerned” and has has written to City of London Police asking for an urgent update.
Both City of London Police and Concentrix have opened investigations. Four staff members have been suspended.
Concentrix told The Times that it is taking the allegations seriously and did not tolerate the mocking of fraud victims.
A Concentrix spokesperson told The Times: “A small number of isolated incidents have occurred which are not representative of our organisation and our values. The four individuals featured in the investigation have been suspended.”
City of London Police national lead for economic crime Commander Karen Baxter told the Times: “We will be carrying out an immediate examination of standards and requiring our agents to do the same.
“It is important to emphasize that we know that the vast majority of the staff who work for Action Fraud do a good job in sometimes difficult circumstances, and we would not want this to deter members of the public from coming forward and reporting fraud.”
Source: Money Marketing